West Wing
Isaac and Ishmael

Episode Report Card
Deborah: D+ | 26 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
A Very Special Episode of The West Wing

In Josh's office, Josh yells to Donna that he's going home, as he grabs his knapsack. She says it's only 5:00 PM and that he can't go yet, he has to talk to the students. Josh has no clue that he was supposed to talk to the students from Presidential Classroom, which Donna vaguely grasps as a group of high-school students from across the country who come to Washington for four days and meet interesting people, one of whom is Josh. Josh doesn't know when this got on the schedule and wonders whether there isn't somebody else who can do this. It sounds right up Sam's alley, if you ask me. Josh is being a little bit whiny and says he can't do it because he has to work, and that he can't work in the office because they've "crashed five times in three weeks." I'm guessing his beef is not with Microsoft. He complains, "When I'm not being evacuated from the building, I'm not being allowed to leave the building! And now, the one...God, Donna, I wanna go home." Donna patiently tells him that it's been on his schedule. He agrees to give the students a few minutes. Donna directs him to the Northwest Lobby, where the students are waiting. He sighs and hands her his knapsack.

Josh walks into the lobby and greets them, although he needs Donna to prompt him with the name of their organization. The woman supervising them introduces herself as Marjorie Mann. Josh asks how they all got there. The majority of them murmur, "The bus." Josh actually meant, what did they do to qualify for the Classroom. (Reminds me of that creaky old joke: "Where did the dog bite you?" "Oh, a little below the Catholic Church.") Marjorie explains it has to do with grades, essays, recommendations, and rich and powerful Mafia dads. I'm just kidding about the last part. There's a minimum of levity in this show, people. Work with me. She says it's very competitive. Josh introduces himself and indicates that he joined the Bartlet campaign as Political Director shortly before the Iowa caucus. He also mentions that he used to work for Hoynes. Donna interrupts and says, "Josh?" She's looking at a red or orange telephone (hard to tell in the light available) on a desk with a label on its receiver that says "Crash" and a red flashing light. It's a curiously anachronistic phone for the current day; it's touch-tone, but it's that classic style in which dial phones were made for so long. Very '70s. A security guard picks up the phone and says, "Station One. Code Black. Crash." Josh tells the students that something's about to happen, and that they shouldn't be frightened, and that they're going to have to seal the building. Instantly, staffers are running around all over the place; a bunch of Secret Service guys come in. The security guard asks whether the students are with Josh; Josh guesses they are. He turns to the kids and says, "Something's happened." The credits roll and we are encouraged to donate what we can to the Twin Towers Fund (1-877-870-4278) and the American Red Cross (1-800-HELP-NOW).

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West Wing

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